Telling Your Story with Images

Ashley IkelerLearn

Mirror reflection of fjord

Let’s play a quick game of “Would You Rather?”.

Would you rather read a 2,500-word article or look at pictures that express the same thing?

My hunch is that you picked looking at images over reading. No shame, writing is my job and I picked the same thing.

So, we’re in agreement – pictures are worth 1,000 words, if not more.

The value in imagery

One of the reasons images are so powerful is because they make people feel. Images have the capability of evoking emotion, conveying moods and personality and displaying authenticity.

If it wasn’t for the image at the top of this post, would you have even bothered to read this?

Pictures are worth 1,000 words

Loading elephant onto airplane

Much like how we expect to see a moral at the end of a book, we expect to find a purpose at the end of a digital storytelling experience. Visuals, paired with effective content, help us get there.

The power of the meme

Incorrect password meme

Besides the fact that they are hilarious, memes are relatable. One image can be repurposed and applied in countless situations and evoke different emotions each time.

The image is the story

Amputee soldier walking down path

Some of the most captivating photographs in history have the power to move people. In this example, the image is the story.

It’s all about balance

Effective storytelling

Effective storytelling isn’t about just putting imagery out into the world and hoping it conveys the right message. You have to think about the best, most effective way to convey the message. Have a lot of boring numbers? Make it into an interactive chart. Have a complex topic you need to explain? Walk users through step-by-step with an informative motion graphic. Need to persuade people to act? Tell your story through an emotionally captivating video.

Develop a visual identity

Stark Help Central brand guidelines

It’s all about getting into the mindset of your audience and figuring out what will resonate with them. It’s not just a logo. It’s a mood, a feeling and a visual language.

Rules to follow

There are rules in every civilized society. The world of branding and visual identity is no exception.

  1. The style of the image should match the style of the brand. You don’t have to always show your products, but your images should still showcase how your brand makes people feel or what they can achieve with your brand.
  2. Placement matters!
  3. Authenticity is key. No one likes photos that are obviously staged or pulled from a stock photo site. Show your people, your products and your customers. It will help set expectations and create trust with your audience.
  4. Use high-quality images that are optimized for the placement. For example, a photo for print needs to be a lot higher resolution than a photo for the web.
  5. Try not to give people too many places to look at once. Focusing the viewer’s eye will help maintain their attention.

So, the question is, did you just skim the headlines and look at the images or read the content too? I selfishly hope you stuck around and read the content. But, I get it. We’re visual by nature.

If you’re looking to refresh your visual identity or need help creating one that speaks to your brand, drop us a line. We’re always happy to help!